Sabtu, 20 September 2014

POLICY MIX NEEDED TO CONTROL INFLATION

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Sept 20 (Antara) - President-elect Joko Widodo, who will be installed on October 20, has said his government will increase the prices of subsidized fuel to bring down the quantum of subsidy burdening the state budget.
         Observers predict that fuel price hike will trigger inflation, otherwise supposed to stay this year in the range of 4.5 plus minus one percent.
         Bank Indonesia (BI), the Indonesian central bank, however said that it was not worried by the effect of any possible rise in inflation.
         "No need for too much concern (over this). It would be only a short term effect. In two or three months, conditions would be back to normal again," BI Governor Agus Martowardojo said.
         Agus said the government needs to raise the prices of subsidized fuels to keep the vital fiscal stats in a healthy condition. "Price adjustment is needed, considering the fiscal condition," he added.
         Bank Indonesia hoped that the prices of subsidized fuels would be raised before the US central bank, the Fed, begins to raise its interest rate, he said. The Fed Fund rate is expected to be raised in mid 2015. 
    Bank Indonesia will implement a stringent monetary policy by the end of 2014 to achieve the inflation target, improve the current account deficit, and will try to anticipate the impact of the global economic policies.


BI CALLS FOR FUEL PRICE HIKE TO PREVENT CAPITAL OUTFLOW

By Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, Sept 20 (Antara) - Bank Indonesia (BI) has called on the next government to increase subsidized fuel prices before the US Federal Reserves raises its fund rate to prevent capital from flowing out of the country.
         "It would be better if prices are raised in the fourth quarter. But the increase must not go beyond February 2015," BI Senior Deputy Governor Mirza Adityaswara said.
         The deputy governor of BI, the central bank, said a price increase of subsidized fuels would reduce the risk of capital flight overseas, as it cuts the country's deficit.
         "Indonesia is facing the risk of capital outflow by foreign investors. The government should prevent this by improving the condition of its deficit. In the short-term, this could be done by cutting fuel subsidies," said Mirza Adityaswara in Jakarta on Friday, Sept. 19.
         He added that Indonesia still relies on foreign capital flow, so it should prevent capital outflow that could trigger turmoil in the financial markets.  The faster fuel prices are raised, the better it will be, he said.

Jumat, 19 September 2014

LIMITATION OF DIESEL OIL SALE AFFECTS FISHERMEN

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, 19 (Antara) - State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina's move to limit the sale of subsidized diesel oil has affected fishermen in North Jakarta's Muara Angke Traditional Fishing Port and cut their fish production by about 50 percent.
         Some fishermen at Muara Angke have, in the past two months, not taken out their boats for fishing due to scarce diesel oil. Some fishing vessels have had to wait for one month in queue to receive subsidized diesel fuel.
         Pertamina has been limiting the sale of its subsidized diesel oil in order to economize on the subsidized quota which, if its sale is not limited, will run out by December 6, 2014.
         Fishing vessels have to wait in queue up to one month since Pertamina limited the sale of its subsidized diesel oil last August.
         "This happens because the volume of diesel oil distributed to us is less than the need of fishermen at Muara Angke," Bagus Rudiyono, manager of Fishermen's Fuel Refilling Stations (SPBBN) in Muara Angke, said on Thursday.

Kamis, 18 September 2014

DRUG MONITORING AGENCY TO PROBE CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, Sept 18 (Antara) - The Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) will investigate cigarette manufacturers that have allegedly violated regulations by not displaying pictorial health advisories on cigarette packets.
         Following up on a report by activists claiming that more than 50 percent of cigarette manufacturers surveyed did not display pictorial health warnings on their cigarette packets, the BPOM will begin monitoring packages.
         "We will cooperate with police in carrying out the examinations. If they are found guilty of violating regulations, they will be acted upon based on the law in force," Elly Mutiawati of the BPOM said on Wednesday.
         She noted that the BPOM has signed a memorandum of understanding on the supervision of food products and other goods, including cigarettes, which contain chemical substances and harm public health.
         "A comprehensive supervision and investigation should be carried out first, before taking actions against violators," Elly said.

Rabu, 17 September 2014

NEXT GOVT CALLED ON TO DEVELOP NATION'S CACAO POTENTIAL

By Andi Abdussalam
    
    Jakarta, Sept 17 (Antara) - Cocoa stakeholders from regions that produce cocoa across Sulawesi Island had gathered in Makassar for a three-day meeting since last Sunday to observe the Indonesian Cocoa Day and discuss cocoa's quality improvement and development.

        Cocoa businesses, government officials, and farmers' representatives, who attended the meeting in South Sulawesi provincial capital Makassar, had come from cocoa-producing provinces of South Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Central Sulawesi. These provinces contribute about 70 percent to the country's cocoa production of about 800 thousand tons per year.
         "The aim of the meeting is to seek a formula on how to increase the quality of our growers' cacao products," Director General of Quality and Standard Control of the Ministry of Agriculture Gardjita Budi stated in Makassar on Tuesday.
         Minister of Agriculture Suswono, meanwhile, stressed the importance of improving the quality of the country's cocoa, which is one of the nation's mainstay products. He supported the activities of the Cacao National Movement (Gernas), which aimed at helping improve cacao plantations and the quality of cocoa production.
        "Indonesia is the world's third largest cocoa producer and, therefore, this mainstay product needs special attention from the government. The next government has to support the Gernas," Suswono said in Makassar on Tuesday while speaking on the sidelines of the Cacao Day, which had been highlighted with celebrations since Sunday.

Selasa, 16 September 2014

INDONESIAN HAZE BEGINS ESCALATING TO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Sept 16 (Antara) - At least eight provinces in Indonesia currently have an increasing number of hotspots producing smoke from forest and land fires, causing disturbance to neighboring countries.
         "Hotspots detected by MODIS satellite in the provinces of Central, West, and South Kalimantan; South Sumatra; Riau; Bangka-Belitung; Jambi; and Lampung have been predicted to increase further," Information Data Center and Public Relations Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho reported in Jakarta on Monday.
         Haze produced by land and forest fires in Sumatra, particularly Riau and South Sumatra provinces, is blown by the winds to Singapore and some parts of Malaysia, polluting the atmosphere of the neighboring countries.
         "In Sumatra, the winds have been blowing in the north and northeast directions. Smoke from South Sumatra has spread to Riau Province. Smoke from Riau and South Sumatra has blown even to Singapore, so that the Pollution Standards Index in Singapore and some parts of Malaysia have increased to a moderate level," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Antara.

Senin, 15 September 2014

INDONESIA CONVINCED TO MEET OIL LIFTING TARGET

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Sept 15 (Antara) - Indonesian oil officials are optimistic that the government will meet its oil lifting target this year, although it fails to meet the target in the first half of 2014.
         The government has set an oil lifting target of 818 thousand barrels per day (bpd), yet in the January - June 2014 period, Indonesia was only able to lift 788 thousand bpd.
         The target was not achieved because there were constraints such as production disturbance in the first quarter and the decline in the production capacity of a number of wells.
         However, Acting Chief of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKK Migas) Johannes Widjonarko expressed optimism that SKK Migas  will achieve the oil lifting target of 818 thousand bpd as outlined in the revised 2014 state budget.
         "Although some constraints exist, we are confident that the target will be achieved," Widjonarko said recently.